Lowell Mill Girl Letters

1839 Edwards, Persis & Melinda Blodgett

TRUSTEES HAVERHILL PUBLIC LIBRARY 
HAVERHILL, MASSACHUSETTS 
BENNETT FAMILY LETTERS1

WRITTEN BY PERSIS LOMBARD EDWARDS2 
AND MELINDA M. EDWARDS3 
TO SABRINA EDWARDS BENNETT4

Nashua5 April 4 1839

My Dear Cousin,

Doubtless you will be surprised to hear from me as I am not in the habit of holding correspondence with you. It is not because I have forgotten you no, Dear S. I often think of you & could as often wish to see you. I suppose I need not apolygize for past negligence as you are guilty of the same yourself. I hope we shall let past negligce suffice & for the future commence a correspondence. There shall be no lack on my part. I have often thought of you since I came to this place & especially since I heard that you was obliged to give up your shop on account of ill health. I left Vermont last july come to Bristol & stayed until October when I came to this place. I work in the mill like very well enjoy myself much better than I expected am very confined could wish to have my liberty a little more but however I can put up with that as I am favored with other priveleges. I think I shall visit you this Summer. I think if nothing in providence prevents I shall stay here untill fall. I seems now a long time since I left home am almost homesick sometimes. I heard from home last week & likewise from Bristol. Our folks all & Grandfarthers are all in good health except Aunt Bryant she has not been able to work this winter.

I will just say I hope you will answer this soon. Give my love to uncle & Aunt & all friends. If you do not think of coming here to work I hope y & visit us. I want to see you very much hope to soon. Write us all the news you have & believe to be undeviating Friend & Cousin

Persis L. Edwards 
  
  1 Bennett Family, Letters (1839-1846) Haverhill Public  
     Library, Haverhill, Massachusetts.  These letters appear  
     in New England Mill Village, 1790-1860, Gary Kulik,  
     Roger Parks, Theodore Z. Penn, eds., (Cambridge, Mass:  
     MIT Press, 1982). Used by permission and edited by Old  
     Sturbridge Village.) 
  2 Persis Lombard Edwards b: 26 Dec 1816, Bristol, NH d:  
     Dec 1896, Lowell, MA; parents: James Edwards and  
     Alcemena Frisbie; married: James P. Burnham b: 1819,  
     New Brunswick d; 1905, Lawrence, MA. 
  3 Melinda M. Edwards b: 21 Nov 1809, Gilmanton, NH d:  
     10 Feb 1875, Concord, NH; parents: John Edwards and  
     Betsey Powers; married 1846: James S. Blodgett. 
  4 Cousin and Niece – Sabrina Bennett b: 18 Nov 1818 d:  
     22 Dec 1860, Haverhill, MA; parents Richard Bennett  
     and Ruth Edwards; married 1857: Oliver Turner. 
  5 Nashua, New Hampshire. 

 

Dear Sabrina,

I have nothing special to write to you but Persis has commenced a letter I will try and think of something if it is not so very interesting. You have been informed I suppose that I am a factory girl and that I am at Nashua and I have wished you were here too but I suppose your mother would think it far beneith your dignity to be a factory girl. There are many young Ladies at work in the factories that have given up milinary dessmaking & shool keeping for to work in the mill. But I would not advise any one to do it for I was so sick of it at first I wished a factory had never been thought of. But the longer I stay the better I like and I think if nothing unforesene calls me away I shall stay here till fall. Persis has told you that the folks in Bristol were all well but sister Bryant and I fear if she does not get help soon she will never be any better. WYour uncle Frisbies folks have moved to New York where the Brother lives. Your uncle Sandborn has buried his father he died the 4 of March. Give my respects to your fathers folks and except much love your self from me. Write soon and write me all the news you can think. I want to hear from Haverhill.6 Write too where you are and what you are doing and what you intend to do this summer. My health is very poor indeed but it is better than it was when I left home. If you should have any idea of working in the factory I will do the best I can to get you a place with us. We have an excellent boarding place. We board with a family with whome I was acquainted with when I lived at Haverhill. Pleas to write us soon and believe your affectionate Aunt

                                              M.M. Edwards

[on cover] 
Sabrina Bennett 
Haverhill, Mass 
  
   6 Haverhill, Massachusetts.

1840 Edwards, Persis

TRUSTEES HAVERHILL PUBLIC LIBRARY 
HAVERHILL, MASSACHSUETTS 
BENNETT FAMILY LETTERS1

WRITTEN BY PERSIS LOMBARD EDWARDS2 
TO SABRINA EDWARDS BENNETT3

Barnet4 April the 18 1840

My Very Dear Cousin

I received your letter dated jan 24 after a long time it layed in the office. Be assured it met with the most hearty welcome was read over & over again & again. It brought to mind the many social hours we have spent together which are now past…When I came home last fall found Sister E confined with the Fever…We have had one trouble after another ever since I came home till this Spring…I do not know what my employment will be this Summer. Mother is not willing I should go to the Factory. I thought some of learning the Milleners & Dressmakers trade but have failed in the attempt… 
If I could learn the trade there is a very pleasant village in this town which would be a good place to work. There is no one in the place that keeps shop. Hope you will try to visit us this Summer. Come & spend a long time with us. Write to me as soon as you get this tell me of your prosperity & how you are employed. Don’t delay. If you work at your trade I should be glad to work with you. I wish you were here in a shop. Could you come we should enjoy all the pleasures imaginable. Father & Mother send love to your Parents. Wish them to visit us as soon as convenient. Give them my love. My Brothers & Sisters all send love to you all, you all have our best wishes for your prosperity. Cousin there shall be no lack on my part aboutt keeping up a correspondence. Answer this as soon as possible. Direct your letter to Peacham. Barnet Post Office is five miles from us. Believe me to remain your very affectionate

Cousin Persis L. Edwards

  1Bennett Family, Letters (1839-1846) Haverhill Public Library, Haverhill,  
    Massachusetts.  These letters appear in New England Mill Village,  
    1790-1860, Gary Kulik, Roger Parks, Theodore Z. Penn, eds., (Cambridge,  
    Mass: MIT Press, 1982). Used by permission and edited by Old Sturbridge  
    Village.) 
  2Persis Lombard Edwards b: 26 Dec 1816, Bristol, NH d: Dec 1896, Lowell,  
    MA; parents: James Edwards and Alcemena Frisbie; married: James P.  
    Burnham b: 1819, New Brunswick d; 1905, Lawrence, MA. 
  3Cousin – Sabrina Bennett b: 18 Nov 1818 d: 22 Dec 1860, Haverhill, MA;  
     parents Richard Bennett and Ruth Edwards; married 1857: Oliver Turner. 
  4Barnet, Vermont.

1840 Sawyer Brown, Olive

TRUSTEES HAVERHILL PUBLIC LIBRARY 
HAVERHILL, MASSACHSUETTS 
BENNETT FAMILY LETTERS1

WRITTEN BY OLIVE SAWYER BROWN2 
TO SABRINA EDWARDS BENNETT3

Franklin4 November the 14 1840

Cousin

I take my pen this eve with feelings too painful to describe to inform you of the death of my beloved brother Jeremiah. He died in Lowell the 14 th of October with the Typhus Fever. . . John is in Boston. He was married this fall.

Cousin Olive S.B. 
  
  1Bennett Family, Letters (1839-1846) Haverhill Public Library,  
     Haverhill, Massachusetts.  These letters appear in New England  
     Mill Village, 1790-1860, Gary Kulik, Roger Parks, Theodore Z.  
     Penn, eds., (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1982). Used by  
     permission and edited by Old Sturbridge Village.) 
  2Olive Sawyer b: 1820, Canterbury, NH; parents: Jeremiah Sawyer  
     and Hepzibah Edwards; married 1838: Simeon Brown and moved to  
     Franklin, NH. 
  3Cousin – Sabrina Bennett b: 18 Nov 1818 d: 22 Dec 1860, Haverhill,  
     MA; parents Richard Bennett and Ruth Edwards; married 1857:  
     Oliver Turner. 
  4Franklin, New Hampshire. 

 

1843 Blake, Ann

TRUSTEES HAVERHILL PUBLIC LIBRARY 
HAVERHILL, MASSACHSUETTS 
BENNETT FAMILY LETTERS1

WRITTEN BY ANN M. BLAKE2 
TO SABRINA EDWARDS BENNETT3

                                   [May 14, 1843]

Dear Cousin

It is with pleasure I sit my self to write to you informing you of my good helth &c. I feel as well contented as could be expected considering all things. I think it would be best for me to work in the mill a year and then I should be better prepared to learn a traid. I should like to have gone [to Haverhill] but our folks moving to Nashville I thought I should like to try the Mill and see how I like it. I think I shall like very mutch for I go in all moast every day to see Jane…I think I shall go in to work next weak. It is imposable for any one to get in to the Mill. They do not engage only half the help they did before they reduced the spead. . .I think if I have good luck I shall go to Haverhill but do not wait for me. Come if you can conviently. Father is gon to Bristol so we are very loanly. We received your letter and was very glad to hear from you. 

You must excuse all bad mistakes as I am in a grate hurry. Give my love to all the good folks you know.

                                  Ann M B 
  
  1Bennett Family, Letters (1839-1846) Haverhill Public Library,  
     Haverhill, Massachusetts.  These letters appear in New England  
     Mill Village, 1790-1860, Gary Kulik, Roger Parks, Theodore Z.  
     Penn, eds., (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1982). Used by  
     permission and edited by Old Sturbridge Village.) 
  2Ann M. Blake b: 1828; parents: Jemima Edwards and John Blake;  
    married 1853: William Lovejoy. 
  3Cousin – Sabrina Bennett b: 18 Nov 1818 d: 22 Dec 1860,  
    Haverhill, MA; parents Richard Bennett and Ruth Edwards;  
    married 1857: Oliver Turner.

1843 Edwards Sanborn, Jemima

TRUSTEES HAVERHILL PUBLIC LIBRARY 
HAVERHILL, MASSACHSUETTS 
BENNETT FAMILY LETTERS1

WRITTEN BY JEMIMA WALLINGFORD EDWARDS SANBORN2 
TO RICHARD AND RUTH EDWARDS BENNETT3

                                             Nashville4 May 14th 1843

Dear Brother & Sister Bennett,

I thought I would jest say a word to you if it is not so brite. Our famely is all in good health except myself. I have been qite out of health this spring but am much better now. The Doctor says I have the liver complaint. You will probely want to know the cause of our moveing here which are many. I will menshion a few of them. One of them is the hard times to get aliving off the farm for so large famely so we have devided our famely. For this year, we have left Plummer and Luther to care on the farm with granmarm and aunt Polly. The rest of us have moved here to Nashvill thinking the girls and Charles they would probely work in the Mill but we have had bad luck in giting them in. Only Jane has got in yet. Ann has the promis of going in the mill next week. Hannah is going to school. We are in hopes to take a few boarders but have not got any yet. We live on canall street very nere Indian head factory. We heard from father, folks last week. They were all well. They had lately heard from Mary. She wrote she was well fat sausy and happy and had got a little girl, the prittyest little babe you ever see. She sayd they ware agoing to move to Indinia in April.  They wrote they had bought a farm there and ware agoing to farming. They did not write the name of the town so we do not know whar to direct a letter to her tell we here from them. . .I think Eliza would like to come down here and work in Mill. There is a grate many more trying to git in than can git in. It is quite apleasant place hear but it dont seeme much like home. It would seeme more like home if any of my folks lived here.  You know I never was weaned from fathers house before. It is rather a hard case but I suppose I must try and bare it. You must come and see us soon as you can. It is only 20 miles. You can take the cars and come in a few minits. I have some good news to tell you about father. He became qite pious last fall. . .it would have 

  1Bennett Family, Letters (1839-1846) Haverhill Public Library,  
     Haverhill, Massachusetts.  These letters appear in New England  
     Mill Village, 1790-1860, Gary Kulik, Roger Parks, Theodore Z.  
     Penn, eds., (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1982). Used by 
     permission and edited by Old Sturbridge Village.) 
  2Jemima Wallingford Edwards b: 29 Apr 1799, Gilmanton, NH  
     d: 24 Dec 1842, Bristol, NH; parents: John Edwards and Betsey  
     Powers; married 1821 1st: John Blake; married 1821 2nd:  
     Daniel Sanborn; daughter: Ann M. Blake; niece: Sabrina Bennett. 
  3Sister – Ruth Edwards b: 10 May 1790, Gilmanton, NH d: 20 Nov 1852,  
    Haverhill, MA; parents: John Edwards and Betsey Powers; married  
    1817: Richard Prout Bennett b: 15 Dec 1793, Haverhill, MA  
    d: 22 Feb 1873, Haverhill, MA; daughter: Sabrina Bennett. 
  4Nashua, New Hampshire. 
  
  
affected your heart to have seen our aged farther agoing fored to the anxious seats5 and bending the knee for prayers. He is very particular to crave a blessing before eating. You know that is a grate undertaking for him. . .Sabryna6 I was vary sorrow to hear of your sickness. I hope you are fast againeng your health. When you git well enough to ride abroad come and make us a good longe visit. I should have been glad if Ann could have gone to Haverhil and lernt the trade but she thinks she must try the mill aspell first for the want of clothes that is fit to wear.

I think I shall not have to make any appology, only say that Daniel has gone to Brystol and you will not think strange of my bad spelling and interlineng.7  I am as lonesome as you can think here among all strangers. You must all come and see us as soon as you can.

I must draw to a cloas by subcrybing you loveing Sister

                                              Jemima W. Sandborn 
  
  
  5Anxious Seats - seating set aside, usually very close to the minister,  
     for people who are hopeful and eager to receive salvation. 
  6Niece – Sabrina Bennett b: 18 Nov 1818 d: 22 Dec 1860, Haverhill,  
     MA; parents Richard Bennett and Ruth Edwards; married 1857:  
     Oliver Turner. 
  7Interlineng “interlining” insertions between lines already written.

1845 Edwards Blodgett, Melinda

TRUSTEES HAVERHILL PUBLIC LIBRARY 
HAVERHILL, MASSACHSUETTS 
BENNETT FAMILY LETTERS1

WRITTEN BY JEMIMA WALLINGFORD EDWARDS SANBORN2 
TO RICHARD AND RUTH EDWARDS BENNETT3

                                             Nashville4 May 14th 1843

Dear Brother & Sister Bennett,

I thought I would jest say a word to you if it is not so brite. Our famely is all in good health except myself. I have been qite out of health this spring but am much better now. The Doctor says I have the liver complaint. You will probely want to know the cause of our moveing here which are many. I will menshion a few of them. One of them is the hard times to get aliving off the farm for so large famely so we have devided our famely. For this year, we have left Plummer and Luther to care on the farm with granmarm and aunt Polly. The rest of us have moved here to Nashvill thinking the girls and Charles they would probely work in the Mill but we have had bad luck in giting them in. Only Jane has got in yet. Ann has the promis of going in the mill next week. Hannah is going to school. We are in hopes to take a few boarders but have not got any yet. We live on canall street very nere Indian head factory. We heard from father, folks last week. They were all well. They had lately heard from Mary. She wrote she was well fat sausy and happy and had got a little girl, the prittyest little babe you ever see. She sayd they ware agoing to move to Indinia in April.  They wrote they had bought a farm there and ware agoing to farming. They did not write the name of the town so we do not know whar to direct a letter to her tell we here from them. . .I think Eliza would like to come down here and work in Mill. There is a grate many more trying to git in than can git in. It is quite apleasant place hear but it dont seeme much like home. It would seeme more like home if any of my folks lived here.  You know I never was weaned from fathers house before. It is rather a hard case but I suppose I must try and bare it. You must come and see us soon as you can. It is only 20 miles. You can take the cars and come in a few minits. I have some good news to tell you about father. He became qite pious last fall. . .it would have 

  1Bennett Family, Letters (1839-1846) Haverhill Public Library,  
     Haverhill, Massachusetts.  These letters appear in New England  
     Mill Village, 1790-1860, Gary Kulik, Roger Parks, Theodore Z.  
     Penn, eds., (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1982). Used by 
     permission and edited by Old Sturbridge Village.) 
  2Jemima Wallingford Edwards b: 29 Apr 1799, Gilmanton, NH  
     d: 24 Dec 1842, Bristol, NH; parents: John Edwards and Betsey  
     Powers; married 1821 1st: John Blake; married 1821 2nd:  
     Daniel Sanborn; daughter: Ann M. Blake; niece: Sabrina Bennett. 
  3Sister – Ruth Edwards b: 10 May 1790, Gilmanton, NH d: 20 Nov 1852,  
    Haverhill, MA; parents: John Edwards and Betsey Powers; married  
    1817: Richard Prout Bennett b: 15 Dec 1793, Haverhill, MA  
    d: 22 Feb 1873, Haverhill, MA; daughter: Sabrina Bennett. 
  4Nashua, New Hampshire. 
  
  
affected your heart to have seen our aged farther agoing fored to the anxious seats5 and bending the knee for prayers. He is very particular to crave a blessing before eating. You know that is a grate undertaking for him. . .Sabryna6 I was vary sorrow to hear of your sickness. I hope you are fast againeng your health. When you git well enough to ride abroad come and make us a good longe visit. I should have been glad if Ann could have gone to Haverhil and lernt the trade but she thinks she must try the mill aspell first for the want of clothes that is fit to wear.

I think I shall not have to make any appology, only say that Daniel has gone to Brystol and you will not think strange of my bad spelling and interlineng.7  I am as lonesome as you can think here among all strangers. You must all come and see us as soon as you can.

I must draw to a cloas by subcrybing you loveing Sister

                                              Jemima W. Sandborn 
  
  
  5Anxious Seats - seating set aside, usually very close to the minister,  
     for people who are hopeful and eager to receive salvation. 
  6Niece – Sabrina Bennett b: 18 Nov 1818 d: 22 Dec 1860, Haverhill,  
     MA; parents Richard Bennett and Ruth Edwards; married 1857:  
     Oliver Turner. 
  7Interlineng “interlining” insertions between lines already written.

1846 Davis, Lucy

TRUSTEES HAVERHILL PUBLIC LIBRARY 
HAVERHILL, MASSACHSUETTS 
BENNETT FAMILY LETTERS1

WRITTEN BY LUCY M. DAVIS 
TO SABRINA EDWARDS BENNETT2

Friday Eve Nashua3 Sept 25th 1846 

Dear Sister Bennet

It is with much pleasure I seat myself at my table to converse with you by the silent language of the pen. How my Dear S. are you these days and all the good friends of H.4 I assure you I wold give all the bright cents I have to see you and some others in H tonight but as that will do no good I will tell something of my times and health since I saw you. I could not get a chance to suit me, so I came here to work in the Mill. The work was much harder than I expected and quite new to me. After I had been there a number of days I was obliged to stay out sick but I did not mean to give it up so and tried it again but was obliged to give it up altogether. I have now been out about one week and am some better than when I left but not verry well. I think myself cured of my Mill fever as I cannot stand it to work there. The people that I board with have been verry kind to me and want me to stay hear and work in a shop. There are a number of chances and I think some of stopping but have not decided yet. My friend in Boston wished me to come there. If I worked at my trade and if I thought I could make more I would go and think some of going next week and see what I can do. I like the place and people hear verry much but wish to work whare I can make the most. Will you pleas…write me whare to find Dr. Gleason as I wish to see him when I go to Boston. My head has been considerably affected since I went into the Mill. . .will you pleas to ask Miss Forbs to excuse me for not paying my bill. . .Pleas tell her if I do not come to H soon I shal send to you when I pay my assessments. . .Next time I write I hope my head will feel better and I will write more… 

Yours truly

L M Davis 
  
  1Bennett Family, Letters (1839-1846) Haverhill Public Library,  
     Haverhill, Massachusetts.  These letters appear in New England  
     Mill Village, 1790-1860, Gary Kulik, Roger Parks, Theodore Z.  
     Penn, eds., (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1982). Used by  
     permission and edited by Old Sturbridge Village.) 
  2Sabrina Bennett b: 18 Nov 1818 d: 22 Dec 1860, Haverhill, MA;  
     parents Richard Bennett and Ruth Edwards; married 1857:  
     Oliver Turner. 
  3Nashua, New Hampshire. 

  4Haverhill, Massachusetts.

1849 Sawyer, Louisa

TRUSTEES HAVERHILL PUBLIC LIBRARY 
HAVERHILL, MASSACHSUETTS 
BENNETT FAMILY LETTERS1

WRITTEN BY LOUISA A. SAWYER2 
TO SABRINA EDWARDS BENNETT3

                                   [Lowell]4 Dec 1849

Cousin Sabrina,

After so long a time I again seat my to address a line to you. It is a long time since I have seen or heard from you but believing I am not forgotten I will chatt awhile this eve with you. Would like to know what I have been doing? For a long time I would say I have been Home for about ten weeks just Mothers health was very poor when I first went home but she was smart when I came away. I enjoyed myself very much while thare what a beautiful [letter torn] we have had. It was delightfull in the country. I asshure you I have never enjoyed myself better. We had greate times in ing to Apple bees or rather Punkin bees for there were not many Apples this year. I did not visit our friends in Bristol but Father and Mother did while I was at home. They were well. Mr. Blodgets folks have moved to Concord and Grandmother has left the good old Farm and consented to be shut up thare with them. I do not think she will live very long to enjoy their nice House. Cousin Ann Blake is getting married. She is going out very well they say he is a very smart man. Cousin Sabrina it is so long since I saw you that I hardly know what to say. What I wrote you will perceive will be mostly stems from a Little hear and there. Mother received a letter from Aunt Mary Colby. She was well and her family. She does not like the proceedings at all in regard to Granfathers property and I guess she will make a fuss and I hope she will get what belongs to hur. I should think by what she wrote that she held a not for quite a sum against that property. Melinda ought to pay what is due I think and I guess she will be oblidged to yet. I should not wondr if Uncle David made quite a stir with them or at least with JS Bryant but no more of this.

Well Cousin I am again in Lowell and think I shall work at the Mill this winter and don’t know how much longer. Sister Emeline is here. Her health is very good. We think of 

  1Bennett Family, Letters (1839-1846) Haverhill Public Library,  
     Haverhill, Massachusetts.  These letters appear in New England  
     Mill Village, 1790-1860, Gary Kulik, Roger Parks, Theodore Z.  
     Penn, eds., (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1982). Used by  
     permission and edited by Old Sturbridge Village.) 
  2Louisa A. Sawyer b: 1823, Canterbury, NH; parents: Jeremiah  
    Sawyer and Hepzibah Edwards; employed: Lowell textile mills off  
    and on 1836-1850; married 1852: Daniel Swan. 
  3Cousin – Sabrina Bennett b: 18 Nov 1818 d: 22 Dec 1860,  
     Haverhill, MA; parents Richard Bennett and Ruth Edwards;  
     married 1857: Oliver Turner. 
  4Lowell, Massachusetts. 
  
  
visiting Haverhill this Winter if nothing prevents. I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing you here this winter and your Brothers. I want to see you all very much. Please give my love to your Father and Mother and Frances and to all who inquire after me. We had a very pleasant time at Thanksgiving enjoyed myself very much. I had the pleasure of having two days to be thankful for. Brother Daniel and myself came here the night before the 29. He would have visited you if he could left his business and longer. I expect him down again soon and he will then visit you. He is well and you would hardly know him he grows so. He is as steady young man as I know of. Cousin Sabrina I will not weary your patience any longer at this time and so I will bring these scribblings to a close and will say answer this as son as you receive this and write all the news. Please write about Mr. Busshorns folks and all the news you can think of Cousin. I am going to send this by a Lady that boards with me. She is going to spend some time in Haverhill to a Brothers that lives thare. She is going to be married this week. She is a fine Lady and you would like to get acquainted with her I think. He name is Sage. Good night write soon. From you cousin

                                     Louisa A. Sawyer